I know small groups are utilized when they have patient care plan meetings in which the doctors, nurses, family, social worker, physical therapy and other team members get together (once a month in our transitional care unit) to discuss the patients care plans
. Like for instance any improvements in the patients status that calls for a transfer to a long term rehab center. Or increasing a patients physical therapy. Or in other cases discussing with the family options pertaining to turning off the ventilater and so forth.
Also small groups are utilized when its change of shift and the nurses get together for report on each patient. Checking the status of each, discharges or possible admits, any patients needing sitters, restraints. And just any overall changes in the patients medical status, extra orders or care needed and so forth.
Skills needed would be (should be in your interpersonal relationships textbook) but may include eye contact, addressing things in non medical jargan so that family members can understand, or when you need to tell bad news: comforting voice, slow and explanatory so they understand and so forth. If you don't have a textbook for small group communications, look on the internet for the more common skills. I'm sure it would be easy to find.